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2.
Front Hum Neurosci ; 14: 560567, 2020.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33088267

RESUMEN

The enactive theory of perception hypothesizes that perceptual access to objects depends on the mastery of sensorimotor contingencies, that is, on the know-how of the regular ways in which changes in sensations depend on changes in movements. This hypothesis can be extended into the social domain: perception of other minds is constituted by mastery of self-other contingencies, that is, by the know-how of the regular ways in which changes in others' movements depend on changes in one's movements. We investigated this proposal using the perceptual crossing paradigm, in which pairs of players are required to locate each other in an invisible one-dimensional virtual space by using a minimal haptic interface. We recorded and analyzed the real-time embodied social interaction of 10 pairs of adult participants. The results reveal a process of implicit perceptual learning: on average, clarity of perceiving the other's presence increased over trials and then stabilized. However, a clearer perception of the other was not associated with correctness of recognition as such, but with both players correctly recognizing each other. Furthermore, the moments of correct mutual recognition tended to happen within seconds. The fact that changes in social experience can only be explained by the successful performance at the level of the dyad, and that this veridical mutual perception tends toward synchronization, lead us to hypothesize that integration of neural activity across both players played a role.

4.
Neurosci Conscious ; 2020(1): niaa010, 2020.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32547787

RESUMEN

The association between neural oscillations and functional integration is widely recognized in the study of human cognition. Large-scale synchronization of neural activity has also been proposed as the neural basis of consciousness. Intriguingly, a growing number of studies in social cognitive neuroscience reveal that phase synchronization similarly appears across brains during meaningful social interaction. Moreover, this inter-brain synchronization has been associated with subjective reports of social connectedness, engagement, and cooperativeness, as well as experiences of social cohesion and 'self-other merging'. These findings challenge the standard view of human consciousness as essentially first-person singular and private. We therefore revisit the recent controversy over the possibility of extended consciousness and argue that evidence of inter-brain synchronization in the fastest frequency bands overcomes the hitherto most convincing sceptical position. If this proposal is on the right track, our understanding of human consciousness would be profoundly transformed, and we propose a method to test this proposal experimentally.

5.
Front Psychol ; 11: 809, 2020.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32411061

RESUMEN

Enactive cognitive science (ECS) and ecological psychology (EP) agree that active movement is important for perception, but they remain ambiguous regarding the precise role of agency. EP has focused on the notion of sensorimotor invariants, according to which bodily movements play an instrumental role in perception. ECS has focused on the notion of sensorimotor contingencies, which goes beyond an instrumental role because skillfully regulated movements are claimed to play a constitutive role. We refer to these two hypotheses as instrumental agency and constitutive agency, respectively. Evidence comes from a variety of fields, including neural, behavioral, and phenomenological research, but so far with confounds that prevent an experimental distinction between these hypotheses. Here we advance the debate by proposing a novel double-participant setup that aims to isolate agency as the key variable that distinguishes bodily movement in active and passive conditions of perception. We pilot this setup with a psychological study of width discrimination using the Enactive Torch, a haptic sensory substitution device. There was no evidence favoring the stronger hypothesis of constitutive agency over instrumental agency. However, we caution that during debriefing several participants reported using cognitive strategies that did not rely on spatial perception. We conclude that this approach is a viable direction for future research, but that greater care is required to establish and confirm the desired modality of first-person experience.

6.
Behav Res Methods ; 52(5): 1929-1938, 2020 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32077080

RESUMEN

The study of real-time social interaction provides ecologically valid insight into social behavior. The objective of the current research is to experimentally assess real-time social contingency detection in an adolescent population, using a shortened version of the Perceptual Crossing Experiment (PCE). Pairs of 148 adolescents aged between 12 and 19 were instructed to find each other in a virtual environment interspersed with other objects by interacting with each other using tactile feedback only. Across six rounds, participants demonstrated increasing accuracy in social contingency detection, which was associated with increasing subjective experience of the mutual interaction. Subjective experience was highest in rounds when both participants were simultaneously accurate in detecting each other's presence. The six-round version yielded comparable social contingency detection outcome measures to a ten-round version of the task. The shortened six-round version of the PCE has therefore enabled us to extend the previous findings on social contingency detection in adults to an adolescent population, enabling implementation in prospective research designs to assess the development of social contingency detection over time.


Asunto(s)
Conducta Social , Interacción Social , Adolescente , Adulto , Niño , Humanos , Estudios Prospectivos , Adulto Joven
8.
Orig Life Evol Biosph ; 49(3): 111-145, 2019 Sep.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31399826

RESUMEN

In this review, we describe some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research and provide a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins-of-life studies. We outline these issues and developments to guide researchers and students from all fields. With respect to philosophy, we provide brief summaries of debates with respect to (1) definitions (or theories) of life, what life is and how research should be conducted in the absence of an accepted theory of life, (2) the distinctions between synthetic, historical, and universal projects in origins-of-life studies, issues with strategies for inferring the origins of life, such as (3) the nature of the first living entities (the "bottom up" approach) and (4) how to infer the nature of the last universal common ancestor (the "top down" approach), and (5) the status of origins of life as a science. Each of these debates influences the others. Although there are clusters of researchers that agree on some answers to these issues, each of these debates is still open. With respect to history, we outline several independent paths that have led to some of the approaches now prevalent in origins-of-life studies. These include one path from early views of life through the scientific revolutions brought about by Linnaeus (von Linn.), Wöhler, Miller, and others. In this approach, new theories, tools, and evidence guide new thoughts about the nature of life and its origin. We also describe another family of paths motivated by a" circularity" approach to life, which is guided by such thinkers as Maturana & Varela, Gánti, Rosen, and others. These views echo ideas developed by Kant and Aristotle, though they do so using modern science in ways that produce exciting avenues of investigation. By exploring the history of these ideas, we can see how many of the issues that currently interest us have been guided by the contexts in which the ideas were developed. The disciplinary backgrounds of each of these scholars has influenced the questions they sought to answer, the experiments they envisioned, and the kinds of data they collected. We conclude by encouraging scientists and scholars in the humanities and social sciences to explore ways in which they can interact to provide a deeper understanding of the conceptual assumptions, structure, and history of origins-of-life research. This may be useful to help frame future research agendas and bring awareness to the multifaceted issues facing this challenging scientific question.


Asunto(s)
Biología/historia , Química/historia , Historiografía , Informática/historia , Origen de la Vida , Paleontología/historia , Filosofía/historia , Historia del Siglo XVI , Historia del Siglo XVII , Historia del Siglo XVIII , Historia del Siglo XIX , Historia del Siglo XX , Historia del Siglo XXI , Biología Molecular/historia
9.
Front Psychol ; 10: 540, 2019.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30949089

RESUMEN

The concept of social interaction is at the core of embodied and enactive approaches to social cognitive processes, yet scientifically it remains poorly understood. Traditionally, cognitive science had relegated all behavior to being the end result of internal neural activity. However, the role of feedback from the interactions between agent and their environment has become increasingly important to understanding behavior. We focus on the role that social interaction plays in the behavioral and neural activity of the individuals taking part in it. Is social interaction merely a source of complex inputs to the individual, or can social interaction increase the individuals' own complexity? Here we provide a proof of concept of the latter possibility by artificially evolving pairs of simulated mobile robots to increase their neural complexity, which consistently gave rise to strategies that take advantage of their capacity for interaction. We found that during social interaction, the neural controllers exhibited dynamics of higher-dimensionality than were possible in social isolation. Moreover, by testing evolved strategies against unresponsive ghost partners, we demonstrated that under some conditions this effect was dependent on mutually responsive co-regulation, rather than on the mere presence of another agent's behavior as such. Our findings provide an illustration of how social interaction can augment the internal degrees of freedom of individuals who are actively engaged in participation.

10.
Front Psychol ; 10: 301, 2019.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30863334

RESUMEN

Habits are the topic of a venerable history of research that extends back to antiquity, yet they were originally disregarded by the cognitive sciences. They started to become the focus of interdisciplinary research in the 1990s, but since then there has been a stalemate between those who approach habits as a kind of bodily automatism or as a kind of mindful action. This implicit mind-body dualism is ready to be overcome with the rise of interest in embodied, embedded, extended, and enactive (4E) cognition. We review the enactive approach and highlight how it moves beyond the traditional stalemate by integrating both autonomy and sense-making into its theory of agency. It defines a habit as an adaptive, precarious, and self-sustaining network of neural, bodily, and interactive processes that generate dynamical sensorimotor patterns. Habits constitute a central source of normativity for the agent. We identify a potential shortcoming of this enactive account with respect to bad habits, since self-maintenance of a habit would always be intrinsically good. Nevertheless, this is only a problem if, following the mainstream perspective on habits, we treat habits as isolated modules. The enactive approach replaces this atomism with a view of habits as constituting an interdependent whole on whose overall viability the individual habits depend. Accordingly, we propose to define a bad habit as one whose expression, while positive for itself, significantly impairs a person's well-being by overruling the expression of other situationally relevant habits. We conclude by considering implications of this concept of bad habit for psychological and psychiatric research, particularly with respect to addiction research.

11.
Front Psychiatry ; 9: 508, 2018.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30386269

RESUMEN

In 1877, the psychiatrist Edward Levinstein authored the first monograph on opioid addiction. The prevalence of opioid addiction prior to his publication had risen in several countries including England, France and Germany. He was the first to call it an illness, but doubted that it was a mental illness because the impairment of volition appeared to be restricted to opioid use: it was not pervasive, since it did not extend to other aspects of the individuals' life. While there has been huge progress in understanding the underlying neurobiological mechanisms, there has been little progress in the clinical psychopathology of addiction and in understanding how it relates to these neurobiological mechanisms. A focus on cravings has limited the exploration of other important aspects such as anosognosia and addiction-related behaviors like smuggling opioids into treatment and supporting the continued provision of co-patients. These behaviors are usually considered secondary reactions, but in clinical practice they appear to be central to addiction, indicating that an improved understanding of the complexity of the disorder is needed. We propose to consider an approach that takes into account the embodied, situated, dynamic, and phenomenological aspects of mental processes. Addiction in this context can be conceptualized as a habit, understood as a distributed network of mental, behavioral, and social processes, which not only shapes the addict's perceptions and actions, but also has a tendency to self-maintain. Such an approach may help to develop and integrate psychopathological and neurobiological research and practice of addictions.

12.
Orig Life Evol Biosph ; 48(2): 259-272, 2018 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29959584

RESUMEN

It is widely agreed that the standard genetic code must have been preceded by a simpler code that encoded fewer amino acids. How this simpler code could have expanded into the standard genetic code is not well understood because most changes to the code are costly. Taking inspiration from the recently synthesized six-letter code, we propose a novel hypothesis: the initial genetic code consisted of only two letters, G and C, and then expanded the number of available codons via the introduction of an additional pair of letters, A and U. Various lines of evidence, including the relative prebiotic abundance of the earliest assigned amino acids, the balance of their hydrophobicity, and the higher GC content in genome coding regions, indicate that the original two nucleotides were indeed G and C. This process of code expansion probably started with the third base, continued with the second base, and ended up as the standard genetic code when the second pair of letters was introduced into the first base. The proposed process is consistent with the available empirical evidence, and it uniquely avoids the problem of costly code changes by positing instead that the code expanded its capacity via the creation of new codons with extra letters.


Asunto(s)
Evolución Molecular , Código Genético/genética , Origen de la Vida , Codón/análisis , Modelos Genéticos , Nucleótidos/análisis
13.
Hum Mov Sci ; 61: 27-41, 2018 Oct.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30005845

RESUMEN

Tasks encountered in daily living may have instabilities and more dimensions than are sampled by the senses such as when carrying a cup of coffee and only the surface motion and overall momentum are sensed, not the fluid dynamics. Anticipating non-periodic dynamics is difficult but not impossible because mutual coordination allows for chaotic processes to synchronize to each other and become periodic. A chaotic oscillator with random period and amplitude affords being stabilized onto a periodic trajectory by a weak input if the driver incorporates information about the oscillator. We studied synchronization with predictable and unpredictable stimuli where the unpredictable stimuli could be non-interactive or interactive. The latter condition required learning to control a chaotic system. We expected better overall performance with the predictable but more learning and generalization with unpredictable interactive stimuli. Participants practiced an auditory-motor synchronization task by matching their sonified hand movements to sonified tutors: the Non-Interactive Predictable tutor (NI-P) was a sinusoid, the Non-Interactive Unpredictable (NI-U) was a chaotic system, the Interactive Unpredictable (I-U) was the same chaotic system with an added weak input from the participant's movement. Different pre/post-practice stimuli evaluated generalization. Quick improvement was seen in NI-P. Synchronization, dynamic similarity, and causal interaction increased with practice in I-U but not in NI-U. Generalization was seen for few pre-post stimuli in NI-P, none in NI-U, and most stimuli in I-U. Synchronization with novel chaotic dynamics is challenging but mutual interaction enables the behavioral control of such dynamics and the practice of complex motor skills.


Asunto(s)
Aprendizaje/fisiología , Destreza Motora/fisiología , Movimiento/fisiología , Dinámicas no Lineales , Acelerometría , Adulto , Retroalimentación Sensorial , Femenino , Humanos , Masculino , Movimiento (Física) , Oscilometría , Grabación en Video , Adulto Joven
14.
Behav Sci (Basel) ; 8(2)2018 Feb 08.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29419758

RESUMEN

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging "second-person approach" to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person approach, embodied, perceptual, and embedded or interactive capabilities are also required for understanding others, and these are hypothesized to be compromised in ASD. We therefore recorded the dynamics of real-time sensorimotor interaction in pairs of control participants and participants with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), using the minimalistic human-computer interface paradigm known as "perceptual crossing" (PC). We investigated whether HFA is associated with impaired detection of social contingency, i.e., a reduced sensitivity to the other's responsiveness to one's own behavior. Surprisingly, our analysis reveals that, at least under the conditions of this highly simplified, computer-mediated, embodied form of social interaction, people with HFA perform equally well as controls. This finding supports the increasing use of virtual reality interfaces for helping people with ASD to better compensate for their social disabilities. Further dynamical analyses are necessary for a better understanding of the mechanisms that are leading to the somewhat surprising results here obtained.

15.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 3532, 2018 02 23.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29476089

RESUMEN

Theories of the origin of the genetic code typically appeal to natural selection and/or mutation of hereditable traits to explain its regularities and error robustness, yet the present translation system presupposes high-fidelity replication. Woese's solution to this bootstrapping problem was to assume that code optimization had played a key role in reducing the effect of errors caused by the early translation system. He further conjectured that initially evolution was dominated by horizontal exchange of cellular components among loosely organized protocells ("progenotes"), rather than by vertical transmission of genes. Here we simulated such communal evolution based on horizontal transfer of code fragments, possibly involving pairs of tRNAs and their cognate aminoacyl tRNA synthetases or a precursor tRNA ribozyme capable of catalysing its own aminoacylation, by using an iterated learning model. This is the first model to confirm Woese's conjecture that regularity, optimality, and (near) universality could have emerged via horizontal interactions alone.


Asunto(s)
Evolución Molecular , Transferencia de Gen Horizontal , Código Genético , Modelos Genéticos , Biosíntesis de Proteínas , Aminoacil-ARNt Sintetasas/genética , Aminoacil-ARNt Sintetasas/metabolismo , Aminoacilación , Codón , Simulación por Computador , Extinción Biológica , Origen de la Vida , ARN Catalítico/genética , ARN Catalítico/metabolismo , ARN de Transferencia/genética , ARN de Transferencia/metabolismo
17.
Front Psychol ; 9: 2760, 2018.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30687197

RESUMEN

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This requires researchers to take a "second-person" stance and to use experimental setups based on bidirectional interactions. The present work offers a quantitative description of movement patterns exhibited during computer-mediated real-time sensorimotor interaction in 10 dyads of adult participants, each consisting of one control individual (CTRL) and one individual with high-functioning autism (HFA). We applied time-series analyses to their movements and found two main results. First, multi-scale coordination between participants was present. Second, despite this dyadic alignment and our previous finding that individuals with HFA can be equally sensitive to the other's presence, individuals' movements differed in style: in contrast to CTRLs, HFA participants appeared less inclined to sustain mutual interaction and instead explored the virtual environment more generally. This finding is consistent with social motivation deficit accounts of ASD, as well as with hypersensitivity-motivated avoidance of overstimulation. Our research demonstrates the utility of time series analyses for the second-person stance and complements previous work focused on non-dynamical and performance-based variables.

18.
Front Psychol ; 8: 1778, 2017.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29085318

RESUMEN

It is not yet well understood how we become conscious of the presence of other people as being other subjects in their own right. Developmental and phenomenological approaches are converging on a relational hypothesis: my perception of a "you" is primarily constituted by another subject's attention being directed toward "me." This is particularly the case when my body is being physically explored in an intentional manner. We set out to characterize the sensorimotor signature of the transition to being aware of the other by re-analyzing time series of embodied interactions between pairs of adults (recorded during a "perceptual crossing" experiment). Measures of turn-taking and movement synchrony were used to quantify social coordination, and transfer entropy was used to quantify direction of influence. We found that the transition leading to one's conscious perception of the other's presence was indeed characterized by a significant increase in one's passive reception of the other's tactile stimulations. Unexpectedly, one's clear experience of such passive touch was consistently followed by a switch to active touching of the other, while the other correspondingly became more passive, which suggests that this intersubjective experience was reciprocally co-regulated by both participants.

19.
Front Psychol ; 8: 1249, 2017.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28798704
20.
Front Psychol ; 7: 1940, 2016.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28018274

RESUMEN

There is a growing consensus that a fuller understanding of social cognition depends on more systematic studies of real-time social interaction. Such studies require methods that can deal with the complex dynamics taking place at multiple interdependent temporal and spatial scales, spanning sub-personal, personal, and dyadic levels of analysis. We demonstrate the value of adopting an extended multi-scale approach by re-analyzing movement time-series generated in a study of embodied dyadic interaction in a minimal virtual reality environment (a perceptual crossing experiment). Reduced movement variability revealed an interdependence between social awareness and social coordination that cannot be accounted for by either subjective or objective factors alone: it picks out interactions in which subjective and objective conditions are convergent (i.e., elevated coordination is perceived as clearly social, and impaired coordination is perceived as socially ambiguous). This finding is consistent with the claim that interpersonal interaction can be partially constitutive of direct social perception. Clustering statistics (Allan Factor) of salient events revealed fractal scaling. Complexity matching defined as the similarity between these scaling laws was significantly more pronounced in pairs of participants as compared to surrogate dyads. This further highlights the multi-scale and distributed character of social interaction and extends previous complexity matching results from dyadic conversation to non-verbal social interaction dynamics. Trials with successful joint interaction were also associated with an increase in local coordination. Consequently, a local coordination pattern emerges on the background of complex dyadic interactions in the PCE task and makes joint successful performance possible.

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